Manager Ricky Marheineke hailed a terrific St Ives Town transformation – but insists plenty more hard work lies ahead.

Manager Ricky Marheineke is delighted with St Ives Town's recent rise. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONTManager Ricky Marheineke is delighted with St Ives Town's recent rise. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT

The Saints chief was thrilled with a 2-0 victory against Nuneaton Borough last Saturday as his side stretched their Southern League Premier Division Central winning streak to three matches.

That fine run has lifted Saints to 17th in the standings after they only managed to collect one point from their opening seven games.

"I cannot praise the players and staff enough for the way they have worked after such a difficult start," said Marheineke.

"It was important we kept the faith and continued to put the hard work in, and we have been rewarded for those things.

"Picking up three wins in a row is an excellent effort, but the fact they have come at a time when we have had so many injuries and players unavailable makes it even more pleasing.

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"We're climbing the table and our points tally is looking much healthier than it did a few weeks ago, but we know that we have to keep our standards high and continue to progress as this is such a tough and unforgiving level of football."

Saints will now attempt to claim a fourth consecutive victory this Saturday when getting the better of a club legend.

Jimmy Dean, who captained the club to promotion from the United Counties League in 2012/13, returns to Westwood Road with his Peterborough Sports side, 3pm.

Dean has guided them to three promotions in the space of four years and has received plenty of plaudits from Marheineke ahead of the Saturday showdown.

"Jimmy has done a very, very good job," added Marheineke. "I have the utmost respect for him and I'm well aware of the quality in his squad.

"They have done brilliantly to climb the leagues so quickly and it's no surprise to me or anyone else that they are doing well again this season.

"It's a tough game but then they all are at this level. It's one we can win if we are at our best, but it's one we'll lose if we don't perform."

Saints have only ever won four consecutive Step 3 games once before - that was in their debut season at this level back in 2016/17.